California is the First State to End Fur Sales

The state is taking a big first step in preventing animal suffering.

Oct 30, 2019

Preventing animal mistreatment is one of the highest mandates given to mankind and is found in ancient texts. There are biblical prohibitions that forbid using a stronger and weaker animal together to plow or pull a cart as well as the law that prescribes taking care of animals – including milking a cow for her comfort – on the Sabbath.

Mahatma Gandhi once said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.”

California, is taking this to heart by prohibiting the sale and manufacturing of fur products. The new law, AB 44, is effective as of January 23, 2023. California is the first state in the US to do so. There already are similar prohibitions in several cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Berkeley in the state.

“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” said Governor Newsom in an official press release.

This will make it illegal to manufacture, sell, display or offer for sale, trade, give away or donate any fur products in the state. This applies to clothing, shoes, hats, handbags or any other items that contain fur.

The law exempts leather, cowhide and shearling as well as fur items used for religious reasons or traditional tribal, cultural, or spiritual practices by Native Americans. There are also provisions that allow hunting and taxidermy products.

“Given the overwhelming evidence of inhumane practices in the fur industry and the availability of so many different options for warm and fashionable fabrics, we will not continue to be complicit in unnecessary cruelty towards animals solely for the sake of fur,” said Assembly Member Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) when she introduced the California State fur ban legislation.

The law also prohibits the use of wild animals in circuses, hunting (or killing) bobcats, the slaughter of horses for human consumption, and the sale of other wildlife animals in the state.

The governor said in the official release, “We are doing more than that [banning fur]. We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames. Just YouTube videos showing the cruel way these animals – often stripped from their mothers as babies – are trained to do dangerous tricks. It’s deeply disturbing.”

The use of fur is decreasing worldwide. Many European countries have full or partial bans on fur farming. Fashion houses including Coach, Gucci, Versace, and Burberry have pledged not to use fur.

The use of wild animals in circuses has been banned by 25 counties according to PETA. A circus in Germany is using holograms instead of wild animals. The province of Quebec in Canada is cracking down on unregulated zoos or road side shows that feature wild animals.  

The new law in California is a big first step in alleviating animal suffering. There are 49 states left to go. If the US bans fur production, it would be a shining example for the rest of the world to follow.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.